2. How Essential is Correct Naming?

Use of the Naming Standards is essential if you use the central OUCS WINS servers (163.1.2.52 and/or 129.67.1.52) in order to avoid name clashes. If you do not use the central WINS servers, you don’t need to use these standards, and most of the time this will not cause you problems. However, while it is generally easy to rename a PC that has a duplicate name, it can be extremely difficult to rename a Windows NT domain controller, and renaming a Windows 2000 domain controller is quite simply impossible. Renaming file and application servers can also cause problems. We therefore recommended that even if you don't currently use the central WINS servers, you should at least use the naming conventions for all servers, and choose sensible domain names, just in case in the future you want to switch to using the central WINS service.

NB: It seems to be a common misconception that using of the central WINS servers makes conforming to the naming conventions unnecessary. This is not true! Using the central WINS servers actually makes conforming to the naming conventions essential. This is because if your PC tries to register a name with the central WINS servers, and that name already exists in their database, the registration request will be refused, and network services on that PC disabled, which for servers can be particularly catastrophic.

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